Is it really not good enough?

PunkLadyBug

New Here
We've started dating a year ago and we had on and off periods during this time.

Basically the whole time we've been dating, the relationship was damaged by my then not diagnosed depression, anxiety and cptsd (I got the diagnosis in January this year).

I didn't even realise I was pushing him away, that I struggled with intimacy, that I feared intimacy. I know now that I struggle with intimacy, with trust issues, with communication - basically intimate relationships are my Achilles heel right now (which is no wonder, after going through a lot during my childhood and teenage years).

I realise how my behaviour in the past damaged his trust and intimacy (to the point that it looks like I didn't wanted to be in a relationship with him, that I'm having an affair, etc), and since I became aware I'm fully invested into self growth and overriding these learned behaviours.

I've gone through self help books, and I'm currently on the waiting list for therapy. I'm applying and focusing on doing the right thing every day (communicate my feelings and needs, listening, trust, not perceive everything as an attack or criticism, not storm off during an argument, etc).

Thing is, I'm not fully there yet. This new and good behaviour is inconsistent, which frustrates me and of course, makes my partner go mad - the fact that he's a very reactive person doesn't help me at all to manage my symptoms. On top of this, my sex drive is barely even there. I'm most of the time never in the mood, I'm not even interested in being fully naked in front of him because I feel so incredibly vulnerable.

I've let my partner know about the trauma I've experienced in the past, how it affected me, how it makes me react like I do, how much and what I'm doing to check myself before reacting. But it's never good enough for him. The suspicion that I'm not actually into him or that I'm cheating is still in place.

I totally understand he has normal and valid needs in a relationship, but I'm not at the moment able to fully fulfil those needs, at least not consistently.

I'm not sure if he has unrealistic needs from me now. I'm doing my best every day, and nothing seems to be enough.

Since July my mental state got worse, my depression got so worse, I was suicidal, that on top of self harming. I went to see a crisis team, then spent weeks in a crisis house. Every day is a battle for me, and despite this I'm getting out of bed, eating, holding a full time job, getting out of the house, cleaning, doing laundry, exercising at least a couple of times per week, while still having strong and loud intrusive thoughts every day, while not seeing there's a point in living anymore - for which I'm proud of, I know how hard it is to just get out of bed.

I barely have any energy left to do anything, let alone focus on being better in a relationship, although I do care about him and do want to make him feel loved and wanted.

In the past and now I'm doing as much as I can to show him that I love and appreciate him, words, getting him sweets, inviting him over to spend time with me to watch a movie, cards, even drawings. Nothing is ever good enough. He's still unhappy with me, still complains every day about how horrible I've been, still doesn't see the symptoms, still thinks I'm not doing anything different to show him that I've changed, still thinks my behaviour and me pushing him away is because I'm cheating.

Any advice or insights?
 

Friday

Moderator
Nothing is ever good enough. He's still unhappy with me, still complains every day about how horrible I've been, still doesn't see the symptoms, still thinks I'm not doing anything different to show him that I've changed, still thinks my behaviour and me pushing him away is because I'm cheating.

Any advice or insights?
Even in relationships where noooooooothing has gone wrong for either person? Needs & Wants simply don’t line up. Even when both of those people are madly in love with the other, and deeply trust & respect the other… one or the other or neither is getting what they need, or what they want.

That’s not the case for the two of you. Virtually everything that can go wrong has gone wrong, there’s no history of deep love / trust / respect, AND at least one of you, if not both, isn’t getting what they need or want in a relationship/ in life/ etc.

So… Why haven’t you two broken up, yet?

((I’m assuming there is a reason, whether it’s a good reason …or something like being afraid to be alone, or that the bar is so low that simply not being abused means you “have” to stay, or being afraid of conflict; so the 2 of you will simply be miserable together, rather than finding people you could be amazing with… I can’t speak to. Hence the ask.))
 

PunkLadyBug

New Here
Even in relationships where noooooooothing has gone wrong for either person? Needs & Wants simply don’t line up. Even when both of those people are madly in love with the other, and deeply trust & respect the other… one or the other or neither is getting what they need, or what they want.

That’s not the case for the two of you. Virtually everything that can go wrong has gone wrong, there’s no history of deep love / trust / respect, AND at least one of you, if not both, isn’t getting what they need or want in a relationship/ in life/ etc.

So… Why haven’t you two broken up, yet?

((I’m assuming there is a reason, whether it’s a good reason …or something like being afraid to be alone, or that the bar is so low that simply not being abused means you “have” to stay, or being afraid of conflict; so the 2 of you will simply be miserable together, rather than finding people you could be amazing with… I can’t speak to. Hence the ask.))
He's clearly not afraid of conflict or being alone (as opposed to me), every time I drop the ball, big or small time, he makes sure to express his frustration/disappointed/anger etc. (In fact, I'm not sure there was ever a small time thing, my mistakes were always a big thing.) He also told me numerous times he has no problem being alone, because before meeting me he gave up the idea he's ever going to be in a good relationship, and he has no problem going back to that.

I'm not sure why he didn't broke up with me yet. He keeps telling me how I've ruined his life, trust, how I've wasted a year of his life. And hearing this makes my guilt and my feelings of being worthless go a 1000 levels up. Sometimes I get angry when I hear this because I wish he would see the efforts I'm putting in, and the changes I've made, even if they're tiny. There's no positive reinforcement because in his opinion, I don't get to receive a gold star when I'm doing something that I was supposed to be doing in the first place anyway.

I feel like somehow I'm getting hooked in this mission of pleasing him, and I never manage this, it's like whac-a-mole, something else pops up, and so on and so on.
 

Friday

Moderator
He keeps telling me how I've ruined his life, trust, how I've wasted a year of his life. And hearing this makes my guilt and my feelings of being worthless go a 1000 levels up.
So why on earth would YOU put up with being treated like that???

Don’t get me wrong, I can imagine plenty of reasons why the more someone treats you like shit, the more you fawn all over them, and blame yourself for their behavior, and all the other living-in-abuse patterns (even if there’s no abuse, at all, still acting like it).

But, seriously? That’s f*cked up. Someone tells me I’ve ruined their life? I’m out.

And that’s before all the reeeeeeest of it. Which is equally f*cked up, & not a way to encourage & condone anyone to treat me, by staying.
 

ruborcoraxxx

MyPTSD Pro
Yeah it really doesn’t seem to me that’s right at all. Someone who loves you and cares about you would be interested in knowing how to improve the relationship and communication and not just blaming you for everything. This sounds like he needs someone to blame and it’s just too easy to blame someone suffering from PTSD to this extent. I mean, you had to see a crisis team and he’s telling you he isn’t seeing the symptoms? And he isn’t seeing the sweet stuff you’re trying to do even being so aggravated. And doing everything.

And the suspicions of cheating just are gross.

I know it’s useless to just say get out, because things aren’t so simple. But it really sounds that this man doesn’t spark joy. Isn’t supportive. Is aggravating you. Blames you for things you have no power on (such as his life) and questions the validity of your suffering. Me finds it’s rather abusive psychologically.
 

brat17

MyPTSD Pro
Doesn't sound like he is the right man for you, and maybe, today as you are, nobody is, and that's ok. When you get yourself straight, in a place that you can be in a relationship that is healthy, it will happen. This is not sounding like that.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
He thinks you have ruined his life. Yet he is with you. That sounds manipulative to me.

What do you want from a relationship? What needs do you have? Are you getting them in this relationship?

It's been a year. Long enough to fall in love and want to plan a future. But not long enough for it to feel so hard all the time. (which it sounds like).

You spoke about not knowing why he hasn't broken up with you yet. But why haven't you broken up with him?

From what you write: he is complaining to you every day, and you are trying hard. You have/are also mentally unwell at the moment.
You've mentioned that you are not sure you can be in a relationship right now. And maybe that is something to explore?
Or maybe you can't be in a relationship with someone who needs you to be well when you are not at your well-best?
 

PunkLadyBug

New Here
Thank you all for replying and for the insights, these are all very helpful! 🙂🙂

I do feel like I'm constantly having to make up for something, work out how to not make it look I'm cheating (I never manage to), build his trust up, be more intimate, etc. He says I can't use my trauma and my depression as an excuse for not doing all this (and I agree, I can't be an a** and just use the depression as an excuse) .

I know I've acted like I didn't want to be in a relationship with him, and now I realise these are all symptoms of depression and PTSD. I've explained that to him, he joined me on my meetings with the crisis team, he knows I'm not faking it. And I am working hard to make him feel included in my life, to not push him away, as much as I can (he says I'm not doing anything, that I give him nothing).

We never had a conversation that was strictly about him and his faults. It always seemed and sounded like I'm the bad guy all the time.

What I don't know is how much of an a** am I actually? How much do I actually just blame my trauma & depression and not do anything that matters?
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
What I don't know is how much of an a** am I actually? How much do I actually just blame my trauma & depression and not do anything that matters
It sounds to me that you are thinking about how you are and how that impacts him. That's reflective and insightful. And you're trying to adapt to help him feel he can trust you. That's all anyone can ever do, right?

Have you actually cheated on him?
Because if he feels you have and you tell him you haven't, and yet he can't trust that: sounds like he has trust issues.

Idk. I just have some alarm bells ringing in my head about this. Because you say it's all about your 'faults' and not about his (he will have some! We all do!) And he complains about you. For me: this sounds controlling behaviour on his part. And blaming you for everything. This doesn't sound healthy.

Has he asked you what you need from him to help you? Had he said or done anything about his behaviour?
 

ruborcoraxxx

MyPTSD Pro
Yeah I find the "I have to look like I'm not cheating". How in hell is that supposed to look? Being next to him all the time and not to chat with anyone else?

Sorry this is specifically triggering for me uh because of my own abuse, but I really don't think that in any relationship it's up to someone to "look as if you weren't cheating". If anything, the more you try the more you'll look like you're cheating because you will have that "shady vibe" because you're stressed around him. It's on himself he has to work on and trust you because there is no proof in the work that you aren't doing something if that person decided you did, unless he controls everything. And here we open the gates for total control.

What are you getting from this relationship? Perhaps he needs something you can't give. And that would be fine. But this situation really seems bad to me and sounds like both of you are looking for the types of reassurance you can't provide to each other. You because you're just in the meadows of depression and PTSD (and because no one has to prove they didn't cheat!) and him because he's being super insensitive and blaming you.

We migh be assholes at time with this disorder, that is true. I had PTSD meltdowns that were unmanageable for one of my long term partners. And also with an abusive partner. Difference between the two? One saw I was damn suffering during it, the other scolded me saying I was mad and just left me on the side of the road and using it to justify his own abuse, blaming me because I X or Y, and skimming over his problems and abuse. The first one told me he didn't know what to do when I lost it, but he never said that it was my fault or used it against me. We did argue because of it but he took care of not setting my fragilities against me. We also did argue for other things and the relationship ended, however it was a very different dynamic and both of us respected each other as human beings and knowing one isn't responsible for the shortcomings of the other. Now it isn't always possible to bridge everything. Sometimes it is. Sometimes it isn't. But it's never possible if both parties aren't willing to do so. Willing to bridge doesn't mean doing everything or always 50%. It means willing to do it and trying all you can. And it seems to me that your partner isn't trying at all. He isn't even unsupportive, in a relationship without PTSD this would be a very ill rewarding relationship already.
 

Rosebud

MyPTSD Pro
Yes it's a terrible position to be in.

And sounding out, ~"Here , I'll tell you all that makes you a flawed, useless person and now you can change", is unfortunately very common. (And people don't normally say, "What is wrong/ going on, tell me more", about where this is coming from).

I think contempt, criticism, and (naturally defesiveness or stonewalling in response) are very bad indicators, As is, making a bid and having it met with attacking. Turning away and ignoring is statistically bad, but turning against is worse. And neither is turning towards.

It's only been a year. Possible to invest in trying to turn it around, but also cut ties. It is hard to learn how to turn it around, but near impossible without 2 person's efforts.

It is possible to frame needs in a positive way, such as ~"I am managing such-&-such. I am not yet where I hope to be, and it is frustrating for me (or both of you, you can ask him how he feels) but I need to take small steps for it to be a lasting change and recovery, and I really need your support (by (x)- specify explicitly, eg a word of encouragement, a reminder text, etc) to be able to get there more quickly". (Or something similar. I'm presupposing something drew you together in the 1st place, and you've said he's accompanied you. He may have a different concept of what 'recovery' looks like, or thinking you're doing better yet don't seem to have time or energy for him, hence the accusations. Who knows?)

Insulting and hurting you, and turning away, is not your fault and not acceptable.

Sorry you are feeling so sad. 😔 Welcome to you. 🤗

ETA, this isn't like a headcold, that's going to be gone in a week. And finding things your partner does right, and being grateful for that and them, is important, too, and takes effort and awareness. No one is perfect, and the way he's spoken about being single, maybe he is not invested in the work a relationship requires. Maybe too, he is worried about you cheating, because in his heart he knows what effort he is not putting in, too. Or is insecure that you actually chose him, and doesn't have much confidence in himself. His words can also be a form of control, usually it is when someone beats us down consistently.
 
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PunkLadyBug

New Here
Have you actually cheated on him?
Because if he feels you have and you tell him you haven't, and yet he can't trust that: sounds like he has trust issues.
No, I never did. I didn't even flirt with anyone else. I even asked around to make sure I'm not exhibiting h** behaviour, and I don't.
I do suspect he has, even though he claims he doesn't have any, because he simply made the choice to trust me in the beginning and that I've ruined it along the way.
Has he asked you what you need from him to help you? Had he said or done anything about his behaviour?
Not really, no. I've told him that I need him to stop raising his voice at me, to stop going on and on about what I've done wrong because it overwhelms me, to make sure he's mentioning a positive thing about me or what I've done when he delivers a complaint, to stop yelling at me, or call me names when he gets angry, and to pay attention to the words he's using to not make it sound like accusations and character kill (i.e. to start using 'I' statements, instead of 'you'). He had only a few moments when he actually done it, and it was great, I didn't spiral, I've heard him, the situation was so manageble. I've always made sure later on to give him praise for doing this.

I had PTSD meltdowns that were unmanageable for one of my long term partners.
Oh boy, I pretty sure I'm in the second situation too.
Thank you for describing this, it's an eye opener, I'm sure it was hard to remember this and to write it down. I very much appreciate it.
I felt like a defective person whenever he told me that he has no fault in triggering me, that I'm 'freaking out' and ruining everything. That I even 'choose' to believe the cr*p in my head and not get a grip.
It is possible to frame needs in a positive way, such as ~"I am managing such-&-such.
I've done this numerous times. He told me he did gave me all the proper support and that he would've given me all the support in the future as well, if I wouldn't have made it 'impossible' for him to do so (impossible, as in making him doubt I'm faithful, creating situations where I look suspicious, or even sound suspicious: for example, he tells me that all the time on the phone I sound like I'm having 'someone' in the room with me).
Or is insecure that you actually chose him, and doesn't have much confidence in himself.
He is. He said numerous times that he doesn't understand why 'a beautiful, young, intelligent woman would look at him and want to be with him'. I always found it sweet in the beginning, but then I've noticed how evertime he would say this a few days later he would start to be so suspicious and jealous and then we would end up having a massive fight over something that looks/sounds like I'm rejecting him.
What are you getting from this relationship
He's a kind man at heart, he's funny and silly and made me comfortable to reveal my silly side, which is my true nature. I was always shy to reveal this over the fear that I would be considered childish and rejected because of this. When he's in caring mode he's great, he's so attentive and kind and supportive. He even came to see me every day when I had to stay at the crisis house. I always had something to talk about with him. He has the most lovely blue eyes. I love him a lot.

And now I'm sad because I have to cut ties with him because I'm now more convinced that he doesn't understand what I'm going through, he doesn't want to make efforts to do some research (the crisis team even invited him over for a chat to explain to him how and what type of support I need now, and he turned it down because he thinks he's already doing it). He's so angry, and when he's angry, I can't cope with it. Every fight makes me regress on my progress of taking care of myself. And today he told me 'I actually wish now that you would've killed yourself so I would've been spared of all this crap'. I can't be with someone who says to me this, not even in anger.
 
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